Neighborhood News: The Heights, Hillcrest, Midtown & Riverdale


After nearly 18 months of mouthwatering anticipation, George’s Little Rock finally opened its doors in The Heights. Located at 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd., George’s has been an instant hit, offering up “Italian excellence with local taste.”

The restaurant is housed in the 1930s bungalow many know as the former Cafe Prego, and owners Mary Olive and John Stephens were intentional about honoring the structure’s origins while designing an entirely new space.

“What we loved so much was the two previous restaurants kept the layout of the residence and really embraced it,” Mary Olive says. “That afforded us intimate dining rooms, but also allowed us to give them all totally different personalities. You can have completely different experiences all under the same roof.”

Credit: Mark Jackson, CHROMA

The restaurant’s distinct zones include a bar near the entrance, traditional dining rooms, a sun porch, a patio and “Barnaby,” George’s buzzed-about speakeasy. 

At the kitchen helm is executive chef and culinary director Wes Mickel, a Little Rock native winning over customers with signature dishes like the bistecca alla Arkansas and handmade pastas.

A brunch menu is also in the works, as is an exclusive to-go menu. 

George’s is now open six days a week. Learn more at

fall events

There’s no better time to be in these neighborhoods. Here’s what’s on the area calendar in the coming weeks:

  • Sept. 21: Zoo Brew and Cocktails, Too! at the Little Rock Zoo
  • Sept. 23: Little Rocktoberfest at War Memorial Stadium
  • Sept. 23: Big Dam Bridge 100
  • Oct. 28: HarvestFest in Hillcrest
  • Oct. 28: Chili Fights in The Heights


Credit: Eat My Catfish

In Riverdale, Eat My Catfish opened its newest brick-and-mortar location on the south end of the Riverdale Shopping Center. Along with serving customers a full lineup of Southern-inspired favorites, the new space also allows employees from the Breckenridge location to continue working while the latter undergoes repairs from the March 31 tornado.

Nearby on Rebsamen Park Road, Wright’s Barbecue is on track to open in the coming weeks, marking the NWA restaurant’s first location in central Arkansas. The large hangar will offer plenty of space to enjoy the award-winning Texas-style barbecue, and we have no doubt the expansive patio will be a favorite during fair weather. Update: Wright’s opening day will be Sept. 1.

In The Heights, Leis Creek Farm to Fork now occupies the space at 5624 R St. The fresh meat market is sourced from Leis Creek Cattle Co. out of Clinton and is the farm’s sixth storefront in the state. Customers can expect a variety of beef, chicken, pork and lamb selections, as well as specialty cuts from in-house butchers. 

Down the road, Copper Mule Table & Tap recently opened its doors at 5705 Kavanaugh Blvd., serving up the Southern and Creole cuisine that won over patrons at its first location in Bryant.

On a sad note, the iconic Hillcrest restaurant Cañon Grill is officially closed for good. The Tex-Mex staple initially closed its doors in March 2020, and despite renovation efforts and rumors it would reopen as the pandemic receded, it just wasn’t in the cards. There is no word yet on what will move into the Kavanaugh space, but owner Doug Green is now focused on his other restaurant, Riverdale’s Buffalo Grill.

Credit: Angelo Felix


The 2600 block of Kavanaugh is becoming a go-to spot for vintage fans. Crying Weasel Vintage, formerly located downtown, now calls 2612 Kavanaugh Blvd. home. Located below Control Records, the clothing store moved into the former Retrograde Comics space and is now a neighbor to the Vintage Socialite shop, with Box Turtle between the two. And never fear, comic book fans. Retrograde did a bit of reshuffling and now operates out of the same building as Vintage Socialite at 2622 Kavanaugh Blvd.

Home and gift store Fresh I.D. in The Heights got a refresh as well this spring with Olivia Haley taking over for longtime owner Beverly Watkins. Meanwhile, Red Beauty Lounge made its anticipated move from Kavanaugh to 2410 Glover St. behind Barbara/Jean.

mOment of gratitude

“We want to thank everyone for the ongoing concern and support that was shown to our small businesses after the tornado. We were saddened that so many people lost their homes and that our beautiful little town was so affected by this natural disaster. But we are also incredibly grateful that we were able to reopen our doors at Pavilion in the Park on May 22. The outpouring of support has meant a great deal to us and has allowed us to continue doing what we love most, which is to dress our community. The owners of Pavilion in the Park and East Harding Construction have been diligent in their efforts to restore the center to its original beauty, and progress is being made daily.”

– Marisa Ensminger, owner of B.Barnett

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